When out riding my bike I used to pretend I was Lance Armstrong . You know, like in the Tour de France. I wore the kit, rode the team bike. It was a real high.
But then I would “crash” and have to return to my mundane job in real life; that was such a downer. I would fantasize about the next time I could suit up and be “Lance” for a few hours. It became a real obsession. And I was totally addicted to the “Lance” high.
It was embarrassing to think that people might find out. Paranoia started to take its toll. I was a wreck. In retrospect, I’m sure they knew all along. I was spiraling out of control.
A few of my close cycling buddies confronted me and tried to broach the topic. Of course I denied everything. I was secretly ashamed. Eventually they had to intercede and got me to see a cyclologist.
The cyclotherapy helped. I got to the point where I could admit that I had a problem. My therapist was convinced that joining RUSA would help as part of my treatment. So I started riding brevets. I purged my collection of USPS jerseys and replaced everything lycra with the wool equivalent. I bought a lugged steel bike. I put away the Oakley sunglasses and put on a pair of RayBan Wayfarers. Now I even ride with luggage on my bike!
Sometimes I still struggle with the urge to be Lance, especially during TdF time in July. But mostly I’m content and happy with my new life as a randonneur. I ride for enjoyment of the scenery, the fresh air and the healthy, natural high. I have my new rando friends. We’ve never discussed my past life as “Lance” and it doesn’t really seem to matter. I’m grateful to RUSA, my club and my rando friends.